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VANCOUVER, WA-The City Council gave preliminary approval this week to a plan it hopes will reduce the need for a development moratorium along the well-utilized corridor. The plan could be before the council within the next two months.

In anticipation of the decision, City Council directed city staff to begin accepting proposals for development within the East Mill Plain corridor. Each project is being assigned a certain number of vehicle trips according to a formula that would give 70% of capacity to commercial and industrial development and 30% to residential development.

In a related matter, a list of projects designed to address the traffic problems is being fine-tuned for final approval. The projects, in 12 neighborhoods north and south of Mill Plain, were chosen by the Vancouver Neighborhood Alliance in cooperation with the city’s transportation staff. They would cost $11 million and be paid with an increase in revenue from transportation fees created by giving fewer breaks to developers. The projects include:

• A bypass/overpass between Interstate 205 and Northeast 112th Avenue, which the city hopes will could cut traffic at the intersection at Southeast Chkalov Drive and Mill Plain;

• Extending Northeast 18th Street so it connects with 87th Avenue, giving drivers another route to Mill Plain; and

• Widening Southeast Ellsworth Road to five lanes between 10th Street and Highway 14, making the underused by-pass more attractive to commuters.

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